Arduino Code – Performance

I’m currently making a self balancing robot, powered by an Arduino Nano, and decided to use NEMA 17 stepper motors to power it.

The DRV8825 motor drivers are great, but cannot be driven using a PWM signal. Consequently the Arduino code must send a ‘step’ signal to the correct pin many times per second – Easily in the thousands if you require a decent amount of speed, especially if you’re micro-stepping.

Performance is critical…

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Arduino Code – Logging

Needing to write output to the Arduino IDE’s ‘Serial Monitor’ is something you might find yourself doing a lot. It’s one of the easiest ways of giving feedback on variables, and is invaluable when it comes to debugging.

To output content you can use code like this:

Serial.println("Hello world");

All good so far. How about if you want to output a variable? That’s slightly more work…

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Useless Box – The Code

The Code

For anyone planning on making their own ‘Useless Box’, you might find my Arduino Sketch(/code) useful as a starting point.  The version I’m using here is not my final version, which adds more ‘character’ at the expense of code readability.

You’ll have to tweak the fingerMin/fingerMax and lidMin/lidMax values to suit your own designs, but hopefully that should be quite straight forward.

If you find the code useful, or develop or further, please let me know!  It would be great to see others getting some benefit from it!

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Useless Box – Final Result

Here it is – The final result!

Powered using an Arduino Uno, two ‘reclaimed’ servos, and a handful of Lego blocks.  Great fun to make, a good starting project for people interested in Arduinos, and a lot of fun to use!

Useless Box – Nearly Finished!

Getting Close

Another evening of ‘I Made A Thing’-ing, and I’m happy with the results.

I’ve used a ‘ProtoShield‘ to help tidy up the wiring.  I’d recommend anyone to check them out, especially if your soldering skills are a bit rusty.

These slot straight onto the top of your Arduino, but can easily be removed if you need the Arduino later on for other projects – Without you needing to remove all your wires! Very handy.

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